I went to Michael's on Friday.
I've always wanted to go to one; when I lived upstate, I'd heard about them but never stepped into one (Joann's was my go-to back then). They opened one in the city (aka Manhattan) a few years ago, but I always put off going. It's all the way on the Upper West Side, and I live smack in the middle of Brooklyn. As you might have guessed, I have a major case of the lazies.
Thing is, there just aren't any decent craft stores I know of in Brooklyn.
Well, there's Save-a-Thon... they have two locations here. The one closest to me is a total shithole. They have a very limited collection of things, and no one that works there knows anything. Seriously. I only go there if I need some sewing needles or something basic. The second location is near Kings Plaza (another trek for me; nearly an hour on a bus to get there. There are no goddamned trains near the place -__-). That one is HUGE. They have three floors chock full of stuff, and a decent selection of (acrylic) yarns, fabrics, and assorted crafty goodies. I don't get out there too often, mostly because of the journey it necessitates.
I get out early on Fridays, so (still gripped in the throes of cross stitch ecstasy) I decided to head out there and (finally!) check out Michael's.
Check out this yarn bombed bike rack in front the store.
Close up view; a little frayed, but still awesome..
It took me awhile to get there (~1 hr) and it was an up hill walk from the train station to the street the store was on. The store is on a lower level (so no cell phone service past the entrance...boo). The store was bright and reasonably neat. It was a medium sized space, chock full of stuff. It seemed like they were in the middle of switching over to Halloween shit... there would be a kit here, some banners there, and a witch hat mixed in with the yarn :P
Speaking of yarn, they had a disappointingly small yarn section. They had your standard fare of acrylics (red heart, Lion Brand, Caron) and some Paton's wool worsted. There was a small corner of sock yarns (90% Paton's, 10% house brand), none of which were worth the purchase. I, however, was not there to purchase yarn, so I didn't linger long there.
I asked someone if they sold embroidery hoops, and someone briskly pointed me in the right direction. On the way there, I passed more holiday stuff... what is it with stores putting up stuff 2-4 months early??? I get it, you wanna get rid of it before the date, but Jeez. Let me enjoy what is left of the summer! //tangent
So I get to the embroidery section.
I was kind of bare... a lot of stuff was out of stock (including white 14 ct aida cloth! Reallly? Seriously?? Grrr...). I did manage to get a pack of 105 embroidery threads (house brand. Damn skippy. DMC is expensive. They are $1.30 a sk for their plain cotton colors. Compare that to the multipack I bought for $15. Exactly.), sz 24 needles, 4" and 6" embroidery hoops, and some fancy silver thread. I really wanted that aida cloth... I was all T__T about it being out of stock. They had every other count but 14 in white. If it's so popular, why not order more 14 ct white than any other one?? Well, they had 14 ct in "oatmeal"... I could have gotten that---NOT. Ugh.
After than I lingered and dawdled. It was like being in Toys R Us, man. I wish I could have afforded to get more things... there many other crafts I could have added to my repertoire... like clay sculpturing. Or tie dye. *sigh* I sauntered over to their beading department. The selection was alright, the prices varied from cheap to WTF. I got some findings I needed for making stitch markers, and hopped on the checkout line (conveniently right by the beads. I apparently did a 360 degree tour :P) The cashier was a little blase, but she did like my hair color, so I guess it evened out?
Check out mah new embroidery swag:
All in all, I am ambivalent about my experience there. It was out of the way and I didn't get everything I came for. I probably could have gotten this shit cheaper online as a matter of fact. Sure, I got some nice things, but was it worth the trek? Eh. Would I ever go back? The jury is still out on that one.